How do you help a bipolar friend who is manic?
Our friend has bipolar which is normally controlled with medication. She's been under a lot of stress and for several days has not been acting like herself, but like she used to when manic. She seems unaware of this change. How can we help when we have no family contacts for her?
Very challenging question. I assume that the person has already sought medical opinion and has been diagnosed and is now taking medication for both disorder (I do not wish to call this a disease for personal reasons)
Those who are not medical doctors can only help the person by MAKING SURE that they take their medication ..please make sure..the person is not left alone..for now this is all I can say..
Move them away from the environment which is creating the stress. Overstress overstimulates the mind and this affects bipolar. Secondly I would recommend taking steps for them to learn how to self manage how they feel. Not knowing where you are on the planet the first place to start with this is to learn Breathwork as it creates calmness. Jon Kabat-Zinn is good at this.
The best advice is to get a special nurse for her, one that is familiar with that condition so that she can be cared for in the right way. It could get worse and knowing nothing about her and the dease, it could take a turn.
If you are close friends, I would first ask if she has stopped taking her meds. Then I would just give her a few of your observations in a FYI, matter-of-fact way. She may need to see her doctor, or she just might be having a strange week--even those without mental illness can have a weird day sometimes.
It sounds like she knows she has this condition and is trying to control it - that means you can bring it up to her gently so she'll recognize what she's doing. I feel certain she wants to be healthier, so maybe you can help her see the behaviors that are bringing her down.
The other thing I'd do (having dealt with a bipolar person before) would be to avoid reinforcing any behavior that isn't healthy. If she gets agitated, rather than letting that escalate your emotions, remain calm and centered.
Good luck - you're a dear friend to be concerned!
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